You’ve scoured LinkedIn, gone to every uncomfortable networking event within a 100 mile radius, and you’re starting to consider selling one of your kidneys for a couple decent resumes.

You are officially falling down the endless rabbit hole of recruiting.

But wait…could it be? No, it couldn’t. Unless…


The elusive, formerly intangible, absolutely impeccable candidate.

They’re pleasant, confident, experienced. They’re prompt, polite and their handshake fills you with hope. Their technical knowledge is sublime; their personality is even better. You get that warm fuzzy feeling that comes with finishing puzzles and falling in love.

But wait…if you think this person is downright ideal for the job, chances are…someone else does too.

Don’t panic! Here’s how to get the candidate of your dreams to come work for you.

Self-Examine What You Offer

If you’re going to be presenting your company as a great place to work, you should probably be able to back that up.

Use this as motivation to look inward and determine whether you’re building a business people want to work for.

Ask yourself:

Your company isn't perfect, but when talking to a potential candidate, the best thing you can do is know your company’s strengths and weaknesses back to front.

Engage With The Potential Candidate

Now that you’ve done some reflecting, take a new, invigorated approach to promoting your company as a dynamite place to work.

Here are a couple ways to do this:

Don’t Play Games

You want to portray your company in a certain light, but there is a fine line between marketing your business and leaving out key details that a candidate needs to know to make an informed decision.

Think long-term: Sure, on a first date you might leave out how much your mom calls you or how you have to do everything in 3’s, but those things are going to come up if enough time passes.

Be honest with your candidate. They will appreciate it, and it will inevitably lead to an employee that truly thrives in the environment you’ve created.

Have a Coveted Company Culture

Company culture frequently wrestles with salary when it comes to the deciding factor in a candidate’s decision. In fact, it often comes out on top.

Eighty-seven percent of workers desire an employer that truly considers their well-being, according to a study by and Unum, compared to 66% who rated a high base salary as their priority.  Basically, people want a place that really cares about them, a place that offers gratification and opportunities for development.

In order to get your company culture to come out on top:

Offer Solid Benefits

To provide great benefits, companies need to do some serious financial planning. This can keep a lot of small business owners up at night.

Most decent benefits packages aren’t exactly easy on the wallet, with costs subject to rise as a result of numerous, often uncontrollable, factors. Businesses are legally required to provide benefits, but top-notch benefits go a long way.

It is easier to recruit top talent when word gets out that you offer a sturdy, competitive package.

Top-of-the-line packages usually consist of:

Get Creative With Perks

Benefits don’t always have to come in an official package, especially if you're tight on funds. Start by thinking about your employees’ every day needs as people, and go from there.

Keep Your Mission and Brand Consistent

No one likes a flaky business that’s all over the place, whether they are customers or employees.

Your internal culture should emulate your personal brand and your company’s mission. Try initiating a recognition program in the office to reward your employees when they incorporate and embody these values in their life and work.

This appreciation will show through to your candidate, and make your business stand out.

Salary Negotiations

Negotiating a salary doesn’t have to be an awkward dance. If you’re a small business, the likelihood that you can compete with an offer from the Googles or Amazons of the world is quite small.

The best thing you can do when faced with a discussion of compensation is to be up front. Expect that the candidate has done their research, and respect them.

Applicants want to feel appreciated; you can always renegotiate a number, especially if you have successfully marketed your perks and benefits.

Keep Up the Great Work and Candidates Will Come to You

So there it is – hopefully with this little guide you’ll be able to woo the socks off your dream candidate. If not, don’t fret! There are plenty of fish in the recruiting river. Just remember to stay strong, be your authentic self, and honesty is definitely the best policy.

Your Turn: Have you recruited any rockstar candidates? What was your strategy for getting them to sign on?

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